Royal tour taxpayer bill revealed

Australian taxpayers forked out just under $411,000 for last year's royal visit by Prince Harry and wife Meghan.

Documents released by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on Saturday show the bulk of the cost for the 16-day tour in October 2018 was spent on international and domestic travel, including flights, accommodation, meals and incidentals, to the tune of $237,700.34.

The bill for ground and water transport came to $102,117.07, hospitality and event-related costs were $46,039.47, while miscellaneous costs such as printing, official photography and "VIP facilitation" came to $24,723.08.

"The cost of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's trip to Australia totalled $410,579.96," a spokesman for PMC said. "This expenditure meets official procurement guidelines."

 

Harry speaks to the Dubbo community as Meghan holds an umbrella. Picture: Peter Parks/AAP
Harry speaks to the Dubbo community as Meghan holds an umbrella. Picture: Peter Parks/AAP

 

 

Overall, the trip worked out to be $63,558 cheaper than 2014's 10-day visit by Prince William, wife Kate and young Prince George.

For that trip, taxpayers forked out about $474,137, not including security and GST, with $251,338 spent on transportation, $85,366 on media liaison, $73,638 on domestic travel such as meals and accommodation, and $59,486 on hospitality and event-related costs.

The bill for Harry and Meghan's trip was also less than half that of Prince Charles and Camilla's trip to Australia for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

The newlywed couple - who revealed they were expecting a baby shortly after touching down in Sydney - also visited cities in Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. They had 76 official engagements for the Australian leg of their tour.

Those included a trip to Taronga Zoo, the Opera House and the drought-stricken outback town of Dubbo, the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games and a meeting with indigenous leaders on Queensland's Fraser Island.



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